Rose, Korver lead Bulls to rout of Kings

Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Monday, March 21, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Monday, March 21, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (Charles Rex Arbogast - AP)
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The Associated Press
Monday, March 21, 2011; 10:58 PM

CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver scored 18 points apiece as the Chicago Bulls routed the Sacramento Kings 132-92 on Monday night.

The win gave the Bulls (50-19) their first 50-win season since 1997-98 and allowed Chicago to remain tied with Boston atop the Eastern Conference. The Celtics beat the New York Knicks on Monday.

Carlos Boozer scored 16 points in his return to the Bulls' lineup after missing five games with a sprained left ankle. He joined a balanced Bulls attack that had eight players scoring in double figures in a game that was not close after the first period.

Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 25 points.

With the game well in hand, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was able to rest his top players. Rose played just 28 minutes, his lowest total of the season. He didn't play in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls shot 61.3 percent from the field. More aggressive from the outset, Chicago forced 22 Sacramento turnovers and held a 36-7 edge in fastbreak points. The Bulls' points total were a season high.

The Bulls have won 13 straight at the United Center, their longest home winning streak since 1997-98. At 31-4, the Bulls have the NBA's second-best home record behind San Antonio (32-3).

Chicago led by as many as 25 in the third period, reaching that advantage when Keith Bogans lobbed a pass toward the rim on a fastbreak and Rose flew in from the baseline and dunked it with both hands.

C.J. Watson's steal and alley-oop pass for Ronnie Brewer's dunk highlighted a 9-2 Bulls run, that pushed the lead to 13 early in the second quarter.

Chicago pushed the lead to 19 points on a pair of 3-pointers by Korver late in the first half and led 64-47 at the break.

The Bulls shot 66.7 percent in the first half. Thornton scored 18 points for the Kings in the half.

Sacramento, which entered the game averaging more turnovers (16.1) than all but two NBA teams, had 12 miscues in the first 18 minutes, leading to 19 Chicago points.

Boozer was aggressive early, taking four shots in the game's first four minutes. He had six points, two rebounds and three assists in the opening quarter.

The Bulls led 34-28 after one quarter. Bogans, who entered averaging 4.0 points, scored seven in the first 12 minutes, matching Rose for the team high.

Rose's double-pump, reverse dunk on a breakaway gave the Bulls a six-point first-quarter lead and ignited the crowd at United Center.

Thornton led the Kings with nine points in the opening period.

Notes: Chicago mascot "Benny the Bull" celebrated his birthday. He was joined by mascots flown in from other teams as party of a halftime party. ... The win might have helped the Bulls overcome the painful memory of Sacramento's last visit to Chicago. On Dec. 21, 2009, the Kings erased a 35-point third quarter deficit and beat Chicago 102-98. It was the NBA's biggest comeback in over 13 years. ... The 1997-98 Bulls won their 50th game on March 20, one day before this year's Bulls reached that mark. ... Thornton has scored 20 or more points in nine of Sacramento's last 12 games. ... This is the 14th time in franchise history that the Bulls have won 50 or more games. ... The Bulls improved to 38-2 when holding teams under 95 points or less this season.


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